I am sure you know all about the fact that yogurt is great for digestion. Who hasn’t seen those commercials featuring Jamie Lee Curtis lounging on a couch, chatting with her “friends” and eating a cup of yogurt? There are, however, some benefits of yogurt you may not know quite yet.
1. Makes your teeth pretty.
I know I am not alone in drinking copious amounts of coffee each day. While this habit keeps me awake, it does terrible things for my teeth. It seems that yogurt, although containing sugar, has no harmful effect on enamel. The lactic acid is thought to even have a positive effect in protecting gums and teeth from future damage.
2. Decreases allergy symptoms.
It can be challenging to do anything outdoors for those of us with seasonal allergies, so you might consider eating a cup of yogurt. The probiotics in yogurt may decrease your body’s reaction to pollen and other allergens.
3. Yogurt serves as a great pre or post workout snack.
The carbohydrates in yogurt can either help to fuel you through your workout or replace energy that is lost. The potassium and sodium can also help to replace those electrolytes you sweat out.
4. May prevent the common cold.
Sure, the common cold will always be there, but you could help to prevent it. One of the many benefits of yogurt is that it has immune boosting effects. Yogurt has been shown to make your T-cells, or cells that fight infection, stronger and more active.
5. Helps prevent yeast infections.
Ladies, you might want to consider yogurt the next time you are given a prescription for antibiotics (using antibiotics usually raises the chances of yeast infections). Yogurt’s active cultures can help balance pH levels and prevent the painfully uncomfortable yeast infection from starting.
6. May reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
A recent study was conducted over the course of 15 years with over 2000 participants. The study showed that 30% of volunteers who had at least 2% or more of their calories from yogurt were less likely to develop high blood pressure.
7. Helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Dairy in general is a great resource for building up healthy bones as it contains calcium. Look for yogurts with added vitamin D for a better bang for your buck.
8. Gives you a boost of energy.
Aside from the energy provided by the carbohydrates, yogurt contains B vitamins which work great if you need a little pick-me-up.
9. Helps you build muscle.
Yogurt is a complete protein which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids necessary to build muscle and other tissues in the body.
10. Yogurt can help you lose weight.
I list this as the last item, but to many this may be the most important. Yogurt helps build muscle (as stated in the last point), which helps burn fat. It is also, as I stated before, a great source of energy to fuel workouts you may be performing to lose weight. Lastly, yogurt contains a fair amount of protein that helps you stay fuller longer.
What should you look for when buying yogurt?
Make sure you keep these things in mind to obtain all of the benefits of yogurt:
- Greek yogurt is preferred as it is generally higher in protein and lower in sugar.
- Choose yogurt with live or active cultures if you want to see any of the digestive or immune boosting benefits of yogurt. The live or active cultures are what improve the good bacteria in your gut.
- Keep an eye on the sugar content. Sugar is found naturally in dairy and fruit (if you are selecting a yogurt with fruit), but added sugars (including artificial sweeteners) do not need to be a part of your yogurt. According to Dr. Oz, for flavor and good sugar content, stick between 12-18 grams of sugar per serving.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a cup of the good stuff today!
Featured photo credit: Amanda at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut via semihealthyblog.com